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Apple products at top of holiday gift wish lists on Twitter

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An analysis of select tweets shows Apple's iPhone, iPad, iPod and MacBook are all in the top-ten most-mentioned items ahead of Christmas, hinting at strong holiday shopping demand for the products.

In a Piper Jaffray analysis of 25,000 tweets directed at user handle @Santa and containing the hashtag #WishList, Apple's iPhone came out in the top spot, followed by Sony's PS4 and the iPad.

While looking to Twitter may not yield the same customer intent data as a formal targeted survey, the results represent a segment of consumers who have enough tech savvy to own and operate a Twitter account. Analyst Gene Munster admits the brief Twitter analysis is only a snapshot of the larger market, but he views the data as a positive for Apple during the lucrative holiday shopping season.

"We would also note that the list encapsulates items that consumers want if money were no object," Munster writes. "Although this doesn't directly measure sales, we view the data as a positive, knowing that consumers continue to look to Apple products as the most desirable holiday gift."

Looking at product mentions, Apple's iPhone accounted for 0.49 percent of tweets studied, well ahead of the PS4's 0.34 percent. The general term "iPad" was just behind Sony's gaming console with 0.33 percent, while Microsoft's Xbox was in fourth with 0.22 percent of tweets. Rounding out the top-five was the term "MacBook" with 0.15 percent, though information regarding specific model types was not established.

This compares to mentions of "Galaxy," "Tablet," "Samsung," and "Android," which were pegged at .04 percent, .08 percent, .08 percent, and .03 percent, respectively.

As for demographics, the study found 29.9 percent of tweets came from profiles of users between the age of 14 and 17, while a majority 34.5 percent were sent out by users between 18 and 21 years old. After the peak demo, 21.8 percent of tweets originated from accounts belonging to users between the ages of 22 and 25, 9.2 percent from those between 26 and 29 years old and 4.5 percent from users over the age of 30.

Since the iPod debuted in 2001, Apple's portable devices have been at or near the top of many holiday wish lists, and if Twitter is any indication, it seems that 2013 will be no different.